Spite: The Upside of Your Dark Side

Basic. Apr. 2021. 272p. ISBN 9781541646995. $28. PSYCH
he word “spite” often evokes negative emotions or behaviors. However, many acts of spite may ultimately be beneficial. McCarthy-Jones (clinical psychology and neuropsychology, Trinity Coll. Dublin) refutes the popular notion that most, if not all, acts of spite are socially unacceptable and that the urge to be spiteful should be overcome. Instead, he argues that human spiteful behavior might be not only beneficial, but also a major factor in the prolongment of mankind’s existence, both individually and as a species. His well-researched argument includes analyses of the results of the 2016 United States presidential election, recent Palestinian / Israeli conflicts, and the behavior of religious zealots.
VERDICT This work draws heavily upon current scholarly sources in the behavioral sciences and philosophy, and is soundly reasoned and well arranged. It will find a natural place in all major academic libraries, as well as in larger public library collections.
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